It’s not all about technical know-how these days. Learning a foreign language is believed to go a long way in making a successful career out of the requisite information technology skills. Both IT professionals as well as wannabe IT employees share this belief and are going all out to gain proficiency in one or the other professional language.
It's not that the foreign language buttresses once professional credentials. Knowledge of foreign language boosts one’s self-confidence and smoothens communication skills, besides adding a charm of the curriculum vitae.
German, Spanish and French are among the most sought after courses in the City. For some it has helped them get a better job. There are some others who have got hikes after learning the new language.
And those who’ve learnt a foreign language out of sheer interest, have realised that it has helped them only professionally.
Travelling across the world with her husband, Hema Mohan sought to learn Spanish. “It helps me understand the people of Spain. My husband is a merchant marine engineer and I’ve sailed with him to several countries. Travelling prompted me to learn Spanish and besides I love the sound of it. I can talk, express ideas and thoughts, ask questions about their culture directly,” says Hema Mohan, who runs her own business.
Learning Italian helped Sandeep Chhatwal, another IT professional secure his first job. An engineer, he went to Italy to do his masters in International Marketing and Ceramic Technology. “As the medium of instruction of the masters course was Italian, I had to undergo training in Italian. After which I returned to India and got my first break with the Italian Trade Commission, Delhi, as a trade analyst,” beams Sandeep.
Rachel Ninan, a consultant with a French company says the company, she works for, required its employees to know the basics of French. “Getting a job proved to be much easier than I thought it would, owing to the fact that I was proficient in French even before I joined the company,” she says.
The world is a small place, “People from different countries work together. When you speak another language you become the channel of communication. You therefore, automatically have an edge over the others,” says Rachel.
Reshma R, who works for a consultancy in the City, thinks people who know a foreign language are treated fairly well in the companies they work for.
“In India, people who know a foreign language are probably the ones with a lot of advantage. With the international markets growing at such a rapid pace, such people are given the highest priority,” she reasons.